The Weeping Willow

Ignorance is bliss, but someone else suffers...


An unspoken word fell from trembling lips, so cold, they were, they looked blue. A shaky breath was drawn, and a dry tongue snaked out, licking the lips once, in vain attempt to wet them, in vain attempt to breathe life back on them, and yet they would not give up, what needed be said, must be said.

A bitter wind blew, causing the lips to abandon any attempt to speak, at all. A harsh cry of the wind, snatched the words away, and so, it wasn't spoken, or rather, she could never hear, even if he had said, she couldn't hear, or maybe she did not want to, because even the deaf would know, would feel, the kind of aura he exuded when he tried to speak.

But she can never hear.

Shaky fingers reached up, brushing across the dry lips, cursing inwardly at the harsh wind, cursing it for stealing his voice, cursing it for sealing his lips, cursing it for its existence. Without the wind, he growled, he would be with her. Without the wind, he shall speak.

And so, the wind died.

Silence brewed, bubbled and boiled. His prayers were answered, rejoiced he, he could speak without the wind silencing him with its quick whispers and witty charms, it can no longer steal his words as its own. The wind, is no longer his enemy, for she no longer cares for the breathy murmurs of its charm.

Again, he spoke.

But wait! The sudden heat! What was this? A fire?! Pray let it not be, he murmured, for the fire shall burn her beautiful skin, shall blackened her sun kissed hair to bits, shall harm her in so many ways… He watched, helpless, as she fell into the embrace of the fire, yet she smiles.

Wait… what is this?

She laughed. Oh yes, her laughter was like the trickling steam in spring, so full of life, so light and joyous. So out of place within the flickering flames of the red coals, the angry blaze… yet she smiles and laughs, and the crackling flicker of flames were like a roaring lion, overshadowing his attempt to speak, and he knows, his voice will never be as strong, or as brave as the angry blaze.

But he was right, he knew he was, it was obvious.

The night was dry, the twigs were crisp, and burn was she, by the heedless fire, burnt until her heart had bled, burnt until her eyes were red, or were those tears? Oh woe be fire, for it burns, burns her little heart, and even if he was safe, it hurt to see her in pain, and so he rushed to put it out, rushed to put it out with a bucket of water, the fire's natural enemy.

And now, he mused, she shall notice me.

But woe be him, for she has, in her embrace, the gurgling, joyous water. Within its currents she swam, twisting and turning as if she was part of water itself, flicking her feet as though she had forgotten, forgotten the crucial fact that she belonged on land, that she was no mermaid…

Yet to him, she was as elusive as a mermaid, always swimming out of his grasp, flashing her beautiful fins, smiling so enticingly, he would willingly swim out to wrangle her from water's grasp and risk being swept into its angry currents for his brash daring.

A scream.

What? What's this?! Pale arms flail desperately against now violent currents. Wave upon wave of endless torrents crash upon her frail form, determined to make her theirs, determined to keep her at its bed, far away from the land that is her home, far away from those who loved and protected her, determined that she shall never leave it, for while joyous, water was a jealous thing, and strived to keep what it could of land with it.

Oh woe… she shall drown. He panicked, he can't swim, how can he save her? And so he begged Earth, to extend one of its various roots, to save her from the doom that was to steal her from the grasp of the living. He begged the unmoving earth, pleaded till he could no longer plead, he knelt for what seemed like eternity, for every second that dragged by, his beloved neared the hooded figure at the other side.

And Earth relented, at a price. For earth was a caring creature, and had long since been touched by the silent love that the man held, so Earth curled her fingers, and lifted the soaked body out of water, ignoring the screaming protests. But the body was cold, too cold to be her. It can't be her, he argued. She was Life, vibrant, warm, joyous… this can't be her.

Oh, but it is… murmured earth. She is what she chose to be, earth continued, and this was her downfall.

No. Said the man, I shall not let it be.

Thus, he brought forth the woman's lovers, Wind, Fire and Water, and he said to them, this was your doing. Aye, they said, but she chose it, and for her choices, she shall face the price. The man, overcome with grief, cried out in anger, and as his arms dug into the grown, his body grew and harden, his skin turning brown, and his hair green.

His tears fell, and bound with his lengthening hair, and forever, is his face downwards, where his feet were dug firmly into the earth he trusted in, and at his feet lay the still body that had breathed its last, breathed without ever hearing the words he had tried to say, and will never hear them.

For he could no longer speak, yet even so, he continued watching over her, spreading his arms wide to shade her from the angry glares of the sun, and to cover her still form from the lashing of the rain, to steal the wind away so it shall not further chill her body, and to draw the wandering creatures away by covering and hiding her from the world.

Yet she shall never know, for now, she is in the embrace of the hooded figure on the other side, and shall never return, yet he shall continue watching, silently, with tears that shall fall until the end of time, forever weeping, forever sighing, forever waiting…